Isaiah Jones: Lone Local on the Biletnikoff


East Carolina Isaiah Jones is on the Biletnikoff Award Watch List. The Biletnikoff Award is handed out to the nation’s best college wide receiver and the Watch List for it was released last week. Jones is more or less by myself on the list. There are no other local products who were included.

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Part of that has to do with two great area receivers entering the NFL. Jamison Crowder is now with the Washington Redskins instead of the Duke Blue Devils. Justin Hardy is now with the Atlanta Falcons and not the East Carolina Pirates.

The other factor is players that have to share the ball. North Carolina has two receivers that could have been considered. One is little dynamo Ryan Switzer and the other is Gaffney, SC product Quinshad Davis. Switzer is a step away in his development, while Davis was hurt last year.

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But enough about guys who aren’t on the list. Let’s look at the guy who is, Isaiah Jones. Jones is the leading returning receiver to a Pirate offense that will be breaking in a new quarterback. That could mean more reliance on Jones, similar to how former quarterback Shane Carden could depend on Hardy.

If Jones puts up a season like Hardy’s, then he will be in good stead in the Biletnikoff chase. The danger for Jones is that the Air Raid offense will spread the ball around to multiple targets and that will lessen individual stats.

Last year Jones was the second or third option in the offense. He still managed eight hundred thirty yards of receiving and five touchdowns. Hardy, by comparison, had fifteen hundred yards and twice as many touchdowns. Hopefully Jones can replicate those kinds of numbers as he moves into the number one role.

Next: Butkus Award Watch List